2016 15" MacBook Pro (RP455) [6th,4C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Pro) + macOS 10.15.5 & Win10
System specs + eGPU hardware
I think the title covers the most. But in addition, I am using the standard small TB3 cable that came with the enclosure. And the GPU is driving a DELL P2319H 23-inch (1920 x 1080).
I believe I am the only entry at the moment that has this setup, AKiTiO Node Pro and 5700 XT. I had some initial concerns about the graphic card requiring 600W+ while the PSU in the AKiTiO Node Pro is only 500W and only 400W of those are actually going into the GPU. But it works without problems. Even if not, the PSU is replaceable since it is a standard "small" sized PSU as far as I read about it. I also use the 87W macbook charger directly so I think that lessens the burden on the PSU as well (does it?).
As for guides, I generally followed the bootcamp setup guide but I also read about a million of them so sometimes a step in the guide didn't really click until after reading another one. My first attempt resulted in W10 not booting at all.
But my second attempt worked flawlessly and I actually recorded the full setup (minus installing windows). So the installation steps includes timestamps in case you want to see it in action.
The bold steps are basically what I think is the required steps, but I also annotated everything else as well.
01 - 00:00:00 Just finished installing Windows
02 - 00:00:50 Checking initial device state after install
03 - 00:01:16 Create a restore point
04 - 00:04:28 Check exact windows version
05 - 00:06:17 Update windows to build 18362.295
06 - 00:18:00 Finish version update and check device manager again
07 - 00:19:00 Boot to macOS
08 - 00:30:18 Partition HDD for automate-eGPU EFI files
09 - 00:43:54 download the files
10 - 00:45:58 Read about wether I need to put the UDID into the config file
11 - 00:55:56 Add UDID of disk into boot plist (Not sure if this is needed, but I did it anyway)
12 - 00:55:04 Realize I did not create a FAT partition
13 - 00:56:31 Make a FAT partition
14 - 01:03:06 Add automate-EFI to new partition (with the boot key in plist)
15 - 01:03:55 Reboot to normal windows NOT EFI
16 - 01:04:03 Check device manager
17 - 01:04:19 Reboot to SAFE mode
18 - 01:06:06 Run DDU and restart
19 - 01:07:57 Check device manager (note that graphics card is generic name)
20 - 01:08:27 Download HWiNFO to check thunderbolt ports
21 - 01:13:18 Create restore point
22 - 01:20:20 Download pre-compiled DSDT override for my specific macbook
23 - 01:26:23 Move and rename "dsdt-modified.aml" → "/EFI/CLOVER/ACPI/WINDOWS/dsdt.aml" file into FAT partition
24 - 01:27:23 Reboot into EFI mode
25 - 01:27:55 VERIFY that the DSDT fix actually works (large memory exists)
26 - 01:30:34 Install intel graphics for the integrated/dedicated laptop gpu
27 - 01:41:46 Reboot
28 - 01:42:46 Reboot again into EFI
29 - 01:42:46 Check device manager (it now shows intel graphics instead of generic name)
30 - 01:44:06 Restore point
31 - 01:44:30 Shut down
32 - 01:45:00 Connect eGPU for the first time
33 - 01:45:20 boot into EFI
34 - 01:45:53 See new device popup
35 - 01:46:20 Check device manager (now shows 3 eGPU with generic name)
36 - 01:46:51 Install AMD drivers from bootcampdrivers.com (check factory reset)
37 - 01:51:30 Reboots automatically
38 - 01:53:20 AMD driver install continues automatically
39 - 01:54:30 Check device manager (5700 XT now recognized by name! but has warning triangle and error code 12! because the automatic reboot did not reboot into EFI mode?)
40 - 01:56:10 Automatic reboots again
41 - 01:57:00 Reboot into EFI mode after the AMD install is finally done
43 - 01:57:50 External monitor starts! this means the GPU is working
44 - 02:04:08 Run benchmark
45 - 02:08:35 Benchmark results
I seem to have to use the lower left port, top left does not work when I boot to EFI mode.
I didn't disable any ports (well technically I did in my first try, but it doesn't persist through Windows installs does it? even after re-partitioning etc).
5700 XT - FPS 117 / Score 2962 / Min,Max 9,195
5700 XT - FPS 95 / Score 2408 / Min,Max 12,195
iGPU/dGPU - FPS 20 / Score 518 / Min,Max, 7,38
Not really. Generally it works fine, makes unplayable into playable. It took a while to get the game I am playing to be working well though. I have some comments about it here and the game I play is Escape From Tarkov.
In summary, if I want to "up" my FPS more I'll likely buy a PC, but this is pretty okay for now.
Just for some updates. After using it for gaming for some 2-3 weeks now, this setup works fine. Able to get 50-100 FPS (widely different in different map) in escape from tarkov on ... well, mixed, settings ... some on high and some on low. It had major issues with throttling but I was able to figure it out by manually turning throttling OFF and also manually limiting the CPU speed to a point where it doesn't overheat. It took more or less a week to figure stuff out.
And it runs the sims 4 on ultra settings, in macOS, on a 2020 macbook air without any problems. Around 70+ FPS. Earlier I ran it at all low settings for smooth gameplay.
I do think buying a PC would have allowed me to be at this point, with much better graphical gameplay, on day one. Just for ~2x the price or so it's quite attractive in hindsight. Plus you'd have access to your laptop at the same time as gaming.